Drama on the Tideway
Reading about this week’s happy ending where a ‘jumper’ met his rescuer by distributing leaflets at the scene of the watery event on Waterloo Bridge, lo and behold a happy meeting was arranged and no doubt grateful thanks exchanged between the two main players.
So too, today’s drama was also played out. A sudden kerfuffle and shouts rang out, and running footsteps proclaimed an unusual event. Alas, slow to react from my drawing board to the flashing emergency lights on a fast-approaching craft. An amazing scenario was happening on our river frontage.
The RNLI rib lifeboat landed on our shelving beach and two burly chaps leapt out in the chase of whom we knew not. Just then, a melee of activity took place at the drawdock when local police joined the rescue.
At the same time, the Fire Brigade’s substantial rescue tender arrived from nowhere (she must have been patrolling local waters some five miles from her base at Lambeth!). Meanwhile, a fast police launch turned up and lay off-shore to monitor the events.
The main player of all this must have been another ‘jumper’ or perhaps a smash and grabber that went wrong – we will, no doubt, find out more anon. Access through the large steel Watergates was hindered by a ‘tranche’ of sand which had been dumped by the falling spring tide. Alas, we had no shovel to hand, just a trowel which was more than useless.
The only way to extract the victim (or main player) was to evacuate him by lifeboat to Greenwich Pier and then by ambulance to a local A&E. Just as the script might have described, a floating grip was plucked out of the fast running tideway and also escorted to the Pier!!
The only team missing on this amazing operation was a TV camera crew!